How optics has changed data communications

Ivan Glesk, Paul R. Prucnal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Today's voice/data communication packet or circuits switched networks are characterized by hybrid architectures. The relatively low transmission bandwidth of electronics and optoelectronic interfaces makes it difficult to fully utilize the large bandwidth of optical fiber. This problem can be overcome if the data is left in optical form during signal processing steps such as address recognition, demultiplexing, switching, routing, regeneration, dispersion compensation, and clock recovery. This requires high bandwidth, ultrafast, all-optical devices to perform these signal processing functions. These will allow move away from electronic bandwidth of a few tens of gigahertz to a terahertz bandwidth offered by all-optical devices thus fully utilize the enormous capacity of an optical fiber. This requires new data formats as well as a whole new class of ultrafast all-optical devices. We will describe a new generation of such devices based on different optical phenomena such as wavelength filtering, phase shifting, optical interference, mixing, and controlled nonlinear index changes which enable us to perform various very complex functionalities not only in today's networks but also for the future use in all-optical data networks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2007
Event15th Czech-Polish-Slovak Conference on Wave and Quantum Aspects of Contemporary Optics - Liberec, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Sep 200615 Sep 2006


Conference15th Czech-Polish-Slovak Conference on Wave and Quantum Aspects of Contemporary Optics
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • optics
  • data communications
  • optoelectronic interfaces
  • optical fiber
  • signal processing

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